I am not sure what I’m doing in New York in the middle of a hurricane.
This ranks pretty high on my list of Dumb-Things-I-Do-Because-I-Need-To-Live-With-Someone-Who-Is-Not-Bonkers.
Let’s quickly re-visit the Tree Art Debaucle which obviously led to WagonGate, shall we?
Once I brought a chainsaw to cut down a row of small Juniper trees by myself. “They’re small. What’s the big deal?,” I thought. Each was about 15 feet tall. And skinny [which clearly decreases the total height by half.]
I couldn’t lift the chainsaw let alone cut down trees. It was like lifting a boulder with a toothpick. [Who is using these things - the Jolly Green Giant?!]
Not to be deterred [by logic], I thought I would simply disassemble the trees [like IKEA furniture] and saw each to the ground – 1 foot at a time.
So I cut off all of the leafy branches first, leaving a row of pathetic, lifeless, leafless Charlie Brown trees.
[I just didn't know they would look so stupid without the leaves. What am I - a leaf psychic?]
My neighbors asked me ever-so-daintily, “So what’s going on here?” – while looking at my mangled row of leafless giant sticks poking out of the ground, ie, “Are you fucking crazy?!”
I guess I could see their point…
This ridiculata was right in the middle of the cul-de-sac – FOR EVERYONE DRIVING BY TO SEE.
I said the following with a straight face to about 10 different people who asked.
“I am creating Tree Art – an ode to nature.”
They would always tilt their head, and respond, “Hm…” as if they were thinking deep thoughts, ie, “Are you fucking crazy?!”
And their it stood. My Tree Art.
For 2 months…
Just as tacky and as pitiful as was possible. Somewhere in this 2-month span, I discovered that sawing down a tree with a handsaw was also kinda difficult. [Why isn't there a manual for this crap? I mean really.]
And why don’t people tell you a hurricane is coming when a friggin’ hurricane is coming?!
But the bobbleheads on the news always say every storm is the worst storm ever.
That is why I have 10 billion bottles of water in my house and 5 million batteries.
From the last worst storm ever, that never came…
That’s still not a good reason to ignore warning after warning though…
Even my friends called me and offered their very polite “Are fucking crazy?!” inquiries.
But I didn’t listen, I never do. [Being stubborn at all the wrong times is my very special gift of assholia - that only comes in handy when negotiating with contractors...]
I had signed up for these classes in New York for work months ago and I guess I felt an obligation not to waste company money.
But I think my friend, Chloe, said it best, “I don’t care about your job, I care about you.”
Apparently, that only made one of us – caring about my safety.
But I stopped caring about my job genuinely when I was finishing the graduate degree a few months ago.
I decided what I was studying in grad school wasn’t really something I wanted to do for much longer.
What’s more? It’s not even what I am supposed to be doing.
Every time I wrote something for grad school, they would say you should be a writer.
[A writer?! This is not a writing class. This is some dumb techie class. Get techie already?!]
I’ve certainly been aware of this writer-dream since I was a kid. But all of my energy – my sense of urgency – was just about living through another night then.
And then I just forgot about it entirely.
And time, decades went by.
And now, I am encouraged to “write” in the most unlikely places – all the time. And it feels like a wagon just appeared. I just jumped on for this magical ride.
After all these years.
I have no idea if the wagon is going anywhere.
Or if it will go at all.
I just know I am supposed to be on it.
Just for kicks, let’s review all of the things I now hate about my job. I mean I like my job. I just hate its requirements.
The job – and the people – are the same. It’s just that I am different now.
Here we go.
- Doing the same thing over and over because no one knows what the fuck they want sucks mightily.
- Collaborating. I HATE fucking collaborating. Every “group project” in grad school was like passing a kidney stone.
- Keeping abreast of technology that changes every two seconds. [I should have studied math. Math is math. Math doesn't change every time Apple farts near a iPad.]
- Talking to 10 times more people than it takes to get something done. [Question: How many people does it take to do anything? Answer: 1 clusterfuck = fifteenflippingbillion well-meaning idiots.]
You just need one person.
To get something done.
Like my neighbor.
She wanted my Tree Art leveled to the ground before her family barbecue.
So her brother offered to chop ‘em down for 1/10 of the price. [Sure. Feel free to do all the work on my property that you would like.]
“So are you dating anyone?” My neighbor asked one day for her entirely-to-old brother. [Just cut the stupid trees down so I can give you money so you can go away.]
This lead to WagonGate.
I was obsessed with finding the perfect gardening wheel barrel or wagon.
One day, a wagon just showed up on my porch.
“Did you get the wagon?” my neighbor asked one day when I returned from work. Then, she told me this whole story about how her brother acquired it from a nearby nursery.
And by that, I mean fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
My crazy ass mama didn’t raise no fool. Acquired = stole. [Old dude, old dudes shouldn't steal? It's just icky.]
Look, here’s the deal.
I intend to spend all of my days on this planet as a free women. [I am already Scared Straight.]
As such, none of the following bullshit will be happening on my property.
- No smoking anything illegal.
- No getting drunk and driving off of my property and hitting someone.
- No confiscating stolen shit and then giving it to ME.
I felt totally awful. [Now, y'all know I watch too much CSI. Right? I thought the wagon police were coming any second.]
So I thought and pondered and angsted about the stupid wagon for 2 days. I needed a way to give it back without pissing off my neighbor.
So I thought, “Hey, I’ll just tell her. She’ll be fine. Next.”
“Um.. I can’t accept the wagon,” I said sitting at her kitchen table. [Yes, my life had come to this! I used to be cool. My first love sang Beatles songs for money in the park. See? Cool.]
“Why?” she said seriously.
[Now, think. You are smart. You can remember every lyric to every 70's sitcom theme song. Don't screw this wagon shit up!]
“Because you said your brother stole it,” I said like a complete idiot. [Abort. Abort. Captain we have a problem!]
She looked me in the eye and said quite defensively, “I didn’t say that.” [Yes, you did! You nutter! I may do lots of crazy things, including Tree Art - but I am capable of remembering something that was told to me 2 days ago.]
The craydar [crazy people radar] went off and I avoided her like I avoid cleaning my bathroom.
And I gave her the wagon back. [I can't believe I just typed that! Yeesh.]
Phone call hang ups started. [Hellooooo. Caller ID. Some people are just too dumb to own phones. No, really.]
It was super crazy. She seemed so normal. Sooooo normal. And then whammo!
Note to self: Crazy people look normal because they have more practice being crazy – than you have identifying them.
But nothing was crazier than me thinking I could sit through 8-hour seminar classes for 3 days.
I am not hardwired to have an attention span.
And then, there was all of this obligatory networking lunch shit that I don’t care about. Why would I want to talk about your boring job if I don’t even want to talk about mine? [And if you don't work with Idris Elba, I don't give a shit. I assure you.]
It’s called apathy. And I’d really rather not discuss it over pre-made sandwiches.
It’s the last class before Sandy hits. I am leaving class early anyway [kinda like when I am actually at work.]
I listen to a private conversation, because I am nosey.
“So are you leaving early. Don’t you live in Brooklyn?,” Girl X says to HotDreadlockGuy. [I think she's trying to say - get naked. We are in Manhattan, y'all. Let's eavesdrop some more...]
“Nah. I am staying til 5,” he says in his uber-cool, hot guy way.
“The bridges are closing at 2 [which gives us little time to get it on in the bathroom],” Girl X implores.
“I’m gonna take a cab though…”
[Oh, I see. He's stupid like me. I took a train into the eye of the storm - New York - instead of staying in my cushy house far away from the storm. And he thinks that even though the bridges and tunnels are closed, his magical flying cab will get his really-luscious ass home anyway - because that is how magic works. Duh.]
Sigh. What is wrong with muggles?
[Like me. I could be at home. I have a HOME?! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!]
Even though I was in the midst of the storm I was barely affected. No power outages in the hotel and a nice warm bed to sleep in.
I did have to pay for any extra night
But I was safe.
And because the trains are going to be inoperable, recovering from a tragedy its aging infrastructure was not built for – I have to hire someone to drive me home
But I will get there.
My house is unharmed. And I am sure my spoiled cats are snuggled nicely, in my – I mean – their bed.
I’d say that makes me pretty friggin’ lucky.
I am so sorry that innocent people – including first responders died in this tragedy.
Their bravery is simply awe-inspiring. They run into buildings and fires and floods…
And give everything, every single time.
It makes all of the silly things in life seem so small.
So very, very small.
And it makes all of the unlived dreams and hopes and desires.
Even more urgent.
If they are to be done.
Because there is just so little time.
So very little.
What would this world be like without people who give everything?
Who respond first, and ask questions later.
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